Wicked problems are global issues that include all people, from the individual level to large corporations and governments. The lack of sustainability is a wicked problem because in order to change the way we produce and innovate, we will have to change the mindset of everyone. Solving the problem will require a shift in thinking in people from more short-term, materialistic views to more long-term, empathetic views. Mindfulness as a practice has been shown to promote the type of mindset that will be able to have a more sustainable impact on the world. Mindful thinking will only work as a tool for sustainability if it comes about in people for the right purposes. There are a lot of factors in society that can cause mindfulness to be misunderstood and misused, but with good education and support, mindfulness could offer a path to a more sustainable world. Practicing meditation is a good activity to try to understand mindfulness and apply to other aspects of life. If we want to use mindfulness as a tool for sustainability, it’s important to teach people what mindfulness really means. Practicing meditation in class is a good way to do this because everyone gets the chance to try out mindfulness meditation and try to understand it for themselves.
Marc Cohen elaborated on mindfulness in his talk we watched. One important aspect he brought up was wellness. There are so many aspects to wellness, and mindfulness can lend to better wellness and health overall. Marc Cohen broke down wellness to all of the aspects, including physical, mental, and spiritual. A big point in mindful thinking is that the individual and the universe are actually one. We tend to think that we are separate and special from the world, but from this viewpoint, we are the universe. On an individual level, it is more obvious that mindfulness can be beneficial, but the same principles can be applied to a larger scope and can help make a change in the sustainability of the world. If we believe that we are a part of the universe and are connected to everything, we will care much more about the environment and the world around us.
The 11th hour documentary touched on most of the important components of wicked problems and sustainability. It was an information heavy documentary, but it had an impact on the way I think about our affects on the Earth. Even though the documentary was a little dated, the experts and scientists still gave valuable information that I did not fully understand before. One important focus of the movie was that sustainability is a global issue. Individuals have a responsibility to live the most sustainable life we can, but as the movie pointed out, it is extremely important to make changes in big corporations and government. No matter how much we reduce, reuse, and recycle in our own homes, the general view of sustainability will not change enough to make a difference unless we have a global perspective. After watching the documentary, I completed activity 2, writing about wicked problems presented in the documentary. All of the issues presented in the activity were wicked problems, and I answered yes for every box. The documentary helped put all of those issues into perspective and understand the huge impact that the issues have on the world. To add to the list of wicked problems, I listed pollution of the land and oceans. It’s easy to forget that the things we throw away add to pollution of the planet, but when you see the impacts like they showed in the documentary it makes you think more about the way we consume and waste everything. After watching the documentary and completing activity two, I’m more motivated to make sustainable changes in my life. I plan to reduce my waste by using more reusable products instead of trash, like bringing my own coffee cup to the coffee shop or using less produce bags at the grocery store. But I also plan on implementing sustainability into my future career as an interior designer.